Paying for care at home | Oxfordshire County Council

Paying for care at home

Understanding what you may have to contribute towards care in your own home.

Who receives a financial assessment?

First, we will complete a needs assessment in order to find out what type of care, advice or information you require. This will be followed by a financial assessment to determine if you need to make a contribution towards the care you receive.

How much will I have to pay for care?

We do not charge for carrying out either care needs or financial assessments.

Beyond that, without knowing your full financial circumstances it is difficult to predict your assessed contribution but most people have to pay something towards the cost of their care.

However, if you have savings or other capital assets over £23,250 then you would be expected to pay for the full cost of your care and support.

Capital assets could include additional property, shares and other relevant assets. The £23,250 figure does not include the value of the home in which you live and receive care but may include any other properties you own. You can see how the financial assessment is calculated below.

What if I have savings over the limit and choose to receive chargeable services through Oxfordshire County Council?

We will charge you an administration fee for the cost of arranging those services. This fee will be charged at two different rates depending on the level of the council's involvement.

  • £150 - Where the council acts helps find and arrange the care for you, but you then enter a private arrangement with the care provider.
  • £500 - Where the council helps find and arrange the care and also manages the provision of the care and support on your behalf.

When will you begin to charge me for care services I receive?

We will begin charging you your assessed contribution from the first day that you receive chargeable services. We will aim to complete the financial assessment as quickly as possible so that you understand how much you will be expected to contribute.

Intermediate care or reablement

You might receive care as part of a package of intermediate care or reablement, the aim of which is to help you regain your independence. Typically this might happen following a period of illness or an event which has made you less able to get by in your day to day life.

How long you receive the service for depends on how effective it is in helping you to regain your independence or what we call your 'reablement potential'. This is the point at which it is it identified that you either need long term services or no longer require care. This might be after a few days or up to several weeks.

For up to six weeks and while the short term services are actively contributing to your reablement you will not be charged for them. However, after six weeks, or as soon as you reach your reablement potential, if you wish to continue to use any services you will be charged depending on the outcome of your financial assessment.

What if I do not want to receive services through Oxfordshire County Council?

You may wish to arrange your care privately and if this is the case we can supply you with a list of providers approved by the Care Quality Commission.

We’ve also teamed up with My Care My Home to offer people who pay for their own care advice about their care and support options. You can talk with them over the phone or they can visit you in person. Call them on 0800 731 8470 or visit www.mycaremyhome.co.uk to find out more.

How do I pay my assessed contribution?

If the council has arranged your care or is providing you with direct payments, we will send you an invoice each month showing your charges for the relevant period. The invoices will show you the various methods by which you can pay; this includes our preferred method which is direct debit.

How is the financial assessment calculated?

We calculate our assessment by looking at your income, savings and any capital assets you may have (for example, property, shares, and other assets). We also look at your daily living costs including any that relate to your age or disability. This information allows us to calculate how much you will need to contribute towards your care and support and how much financial assistance you receive.

In simple terms the calculation is: Savings and assets + income – standard living costs – disability related costs = Your assessed contribution.

We’ve provided more detail regarding the assessment and answered some of the questions you may have below.

Savings/assets

We take into account almost all types of savings including current and saving accounts, Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), shares, investment bonds, and National Savings. We do not include the property you live in but we may include other property you own.

The amount we will expect you to contribute towards the cost of your care will be based on an individual  financial assessment and will depend on your circumstances. However most people have to pay something.

Tariff income from savings

If you have capital between £14,250 and £23,250 we will assess you as being able to contribute £1 per week for every £250 you have above £14,250. We call this tariff income. Please note that the Department of Health considers that this tariff is what you can afford to pay from your capital rather than an expectation of the interest you may actually receive from your capital.

Income

We include almost all benefits such as state pensions, guaranteed credit, income support, employment support allowance, occupational pensions, disability allowance and care and attendance allowance.

However we do not include earnings, child tax credits or winter fuel payments as part of our calculation.

Standard living costs

There is a fixed allowance for standard living costs within the financial assessment, which is called the Minimum Income Guarantee and is based on rates set by the Department of Health. It takes into account the cost of everyday items such as food, fuel costs, TV licence, satellite subscriptions, water rates and other costs.

Age or disability related costs

We take into consideration any costs you have to pay for because of your age or disability. This may include additional fuel costs, private domestic help, gardening, laundry, incontinence pads, window cleaning, hair-washing and so on.

What happens if I don't provide my financial information?

If we are not able to, or choose not to complete a financial assessment within 14 days and you receive a service you need to pay for, we will send an invoice to you for the full cost of that service. If after we complete our assessment we determine that you do not need to pay for the full cost, we will adjust the charges.

How can I make sure I'm receiving all the benefits I'm entitled to?

If you want to make sure you are receiving all the benefits you are entitled to, contact the Department of Work and Pensions (if you are over 60), Job Centre Plus (if you are under 60) Age UK, or the Citizens Advice Bureau, details are below.

  • The Department of Work & Pensions - 0845 606 0265
  • Age UK - 0345 0450 1276
  • Job Centre Plus - 0345 604 3719
  • Citizens Advice Bureau - 08444 111 444
  • We can check your benefits as part of your financial assessment and you can also check your benefits online

Who to contact if you have any questions?

This information is only a brief outline of the financial assessment process if you receive care and support in your own home. For more detailed guidance or specific advice please contact Oxfordshire County Council's Financial Assessment Team.

What to do next?

Apply for a care needs assessment to determine if you are eligible to receive services.

More information

Last reviewed
31 March 2015

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